The Slow Curve: Baseball Fan Formation

It’s always interesting to hear stories about how people became baseball fans. I became curious about this largely because I often hear stories about how people became baseball fans because of a parent or a grandparent. In my case, it was because of my children. Older son became a Phillies fan largely because a close friend of mine from Philly made a point of taking him to some games–so, in case, a father figure of sorts. Younger son is genetically destined to at least do little league–his great-grandfather and Lou Boudreau were first cousins, and he was born the first year I started watching games deliberately, because I’d lost a bet to older son about the World Series and Philadelphia in 2008.

We had this conversation over on the Eff Yeah Jayson Werth page on Facebook about a year ago in early April, when Werth was still struggling and I mentioned that I had started the page because I was tired of all the detraction of, as I put it, “one of my personal heroes.” What ensued was a fantastic conversation about various things that had brought us to baseball that illuminated the lack of Washington baseball for so many years. Always some other team: Kansas City, Baltimore, Detroit, even Philadelphia. The stories were awesome. (You can read them at the Eff Yeah page.)

So for many of us, we were some other baseball team’s fan before we were Nats fans. I’d love to hear your stories, too. How did you become a baseball fan before the advent of At-Bat apps? Did you live in a baseball market and so listen to games on the radio in the dark before going to bed? Was there a minor league affiliate you enjoyed? Did you play the sport as a kid? What brought you to baseball?